Grady students introduced to Say Something Program

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Samantha Huray

More stories from Samantha Huray


Graphic by Samantha Huray

MAKING CHANGE: Students can log onto the See Something app to report an incident or a fellow classmate and receive immediate help.

Because of the recent increase in school shootings, many people have taken a vow to make schools safer. Two weeks ago in advisement, APS presented the “Say Something” anonymous messaging system. Advisement teachers presented an interactive presentation created by the Sandy Hooks Promise organization.
The Sandy Hook Promise was created by families that lost their loved ones in the tragic Sandy Hook shooting in 2012. The goal of the app and program is to catch the warning signs that are often displayed before acts of violence take place in order to create safer school environments.
The content of the presentation included topics ranging from suicide prevention to bullying. It also discussed the signals students should look for in their peers, such as having excessive anger or withdrawing from others. It is shown that many of these signs can be seen on social media, so taking notice of changes on Instagram or Snapchat could help save lives.
“I think it was a really good presentation because it brought some awareness to topics that aren’t usually discussed and allowed everyone to be educated on topics such as self-harm and harassment,” said sophomore Mady Smith. “A lot of people aren’t educated on these topics and what to do if they find themselves or people they know in these situations, so overall it was very helpful.”
On the app and online, students can submit a tip about a student by describing what they are are concerned about, information about the individual and more. The app also provides direct access to professionals and a 911 hotline for immediate emergencies, but many Grady students do not think the app would be effective.
“I would only use the app if I thought it was completely necessary,” said sophomore Gwen Read. “Thankfully, I have never encountered any situations at Grady that would cause me to use an app like this.”
Junior Alek Bruckman agrees.
“I think if ever I was concerned about my safety over someone else’s, I would probably go to an adult I trusted rather than sending a report to someone I do not know,” Bruckman said. “It is a very useful tool, but it is not something I could see students taking seriously.”
According to a Sandy Hook Promise sample study, 17 percent of students in 9th through 12th grade have seriously considered suicide, and 32 percent reported being sad or hopeless for two or more weeks in the last 12 months. This shows that a significant number of high schoolers show signs that could lead to violence.
“The app could provide help in reducing violence in schools, but for us, most violence comes from outside of the school, and not from the students themselves,” Bruckman said. “If a situation would arise in our school that met the criteria, then the app would be useful, but this topic is not as big of an issue at Grady.”
With the increase of violence in schools, more and more systems like these are being created to try and combat threats and casualties. The issue of making our schools safer has created protests across the nation, along with walkouts to press for a solution. Although some students don’t believe the “Say Something” program will be taken seriously, others believe it could possibly work in a time of crisis.
“It is a good idea that has the potential to work,” Read said. “If you see something wrong going on, you can just report it on your phone instead of having to find an administrator, which seems easier. There are also times where you can’t get to administrator fast enough, and this would be very useful then.”